Elecare is a hypoallergenic formula made by Abbott, the makers of Similac. It is composed of amino acids, making it easy to digest. The formula is hypoallergenic and contains all the nutrition a child needs.
There are 2 versions available. It is available as an infant formula for babies up to 1 year old, and a children's version is made for ages 1 to 13. The infant formula is unflavored while the children’s version comes in both unflavored and vanilla. When made according to directions the infant formula is 20 calorie per ounce, and the children’s version is 30 calories per ounce.
Why would my child need Elecare?
There are a few reasons why babies and children would need a completely broken down formula including:
Babies with gastrointestinal problems.
Children with multiple food allergies.
This formula also helps babies and children who do not tolerate any other formula and the reasons are unclear. For these children it usually helps until the reasons become clear and a different plan can be made.
My 3 year old just got diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis and the doctor recommended we administer Elecare through a tube. Is this necessary or can he just drink it?
While the vanilla flavor tastes acceptable and some children will accept it, your 3 year old will probably need to drink about 46 ounces a day. That’s almost 6 8 ounce cups. If your child will drink that volume on his own without a problem, a feeding tube may be avoided.
For some children, this is not a problem. For most though, they get bored of the taste, don’t like it, or just refuse to drink that amount. If your child is one who does not drink much or has feeding behaviors that make it challenging to get him to drink, a tube feeding may be the best option.
What are the cons to a formula like Elecare?
The main con to this formula is cost. If your child needs a specialized formula, insurance should cover it. If they refuse, go through the steps in this article to fight for coverage.
If you lose and have to pay, consider contacting Abbott for assistance. They will often pay or subsidize formula so it is not a financial burden on your family.
Another con is taste, however this was a bigger problem before they came out with the vanilla flavor. Still, children get tired of having to drink the same thing everyday.
Elecare is a great amino acid based formula that helps many children. If you are at your wits end because you have tried every formula out there and nothing seems to help, or if your child is allergic to many foods and needs an elimination diet, this formula may help your child.
If you have questions or are wondering whether an elemental formula may be beneficial for your baby, make an appointment with us. We can help go through your child's history and symptoms and figure out if this is something you should talk to your gastroenterologist about.